First let me tell you a little bit about Losing Ground, they are an alternative rock/Punk group from Kilmarnock. They actually have a song dedicated to their hometown called ‘Home’ which I can appreciate because I think it’s important for bands to remember where they came from and also because it’s where my partner is from and where we both live now so I guess it’s home for me too.
As a brief side note a month or two ago I had the chance to be in a music video for Losing Ground and it would have been great fun but unfortunately I was stuck in Glasgow until after they’d finished so I was glad to have the chance to do something with the band.
Losing Ground consists of singer and guitarist Jack Sutton, drummer Blair Stewart, Mandolin player and singer Andrew Robinson and Connell Stewart on bass.
I had the chance to talk with Jack Sutton about the meaning behind a few of the songs he had this to say about the first track:
“Fundamental was written in response to the recent refugee crisis caused by the bombing of Syria. A shocking number of stories emerged of would be refugees dying at sea, many miles from home having attempted to flee bloodshed in ill-equipped vessels. These people were and are trying to escape torture and death and have been branded by our shitty mainstream media as a burden to our economy/infrastructure which is bullshit and makes me angry.”
Now for my thoughts, the first track ‘Fundamentals’ kicks off with guitars which are powerful on their own but after a few seconds the mandolin joins then and gives the track a very distinctive and unique sound. It’s rare to hear a sound like this, it’s not some overproduced stuff designed to bring in money, just something fresh that flows really well. The song managed to build a sense of momentum and pace without really going quicker and I think this build up really does the song justice. I find it hard to describe music without putting it in some sort of context of how it might be used and I can’t help feel that it would fit really well in a scene from some movie with conflict because the song has a lot of passion and righteous anger. This is especially clear in the line about ‘Justice being currency’ because it show a group of people angry about some injustice and wanting to fix it. There is a point towards the end of the song that I think is perfect, we have their voices chanting in unison, repeating the message to support an idea of unison and bringing together a feel of unity which runs through each of the tracks in some way.
Jack Sutton had this to say about the second track:
“Part II’s lyrics are pretty self-explanatory I suppose. It was written as a ‘thank you’ to my friends and family. When I was younger I was a fucking arsehole and make no excuses for myself in all honesty. I have friends now that I have had throughout my life and I feel like it would have been much easier for them to have turned their backs on me. Some did, most didn’t and I thought the best way to appreciate that was to sing about it.
As for my own thoughts ‘Part II’ starts quickly and builds like the previous song and it keeps the mix of traditional rock and a more folky alternative, blending them into something which I think just resonates with the listener. Something I was thinking about as I was writing, I’ve heard people complain about bands from Scotland claiming that the accent is impossible to understand and I’d like to say that firstly that isn’t the case here but even if it was I think it’s even more important that the band convey something through the music itself rather than the words and I think that Losing Ground accomplishes this.
Jack had this to say about the third track:
“About Time is about my Grandad who died about 7 years ago. He was just an all-round good guy who was just brilliant to me during a time where not a lot made sense to me. At a time where my folks were on at me to get my act together he was a bit more open minded. We shared a drink and shot the shit. I wrote this song after realising that I was probably still pretty cut about him not being around. It was really cathartic.”
As for my thoughts I think ‘About Time’ is a very touching song, it does something different to the previous songs for a start. It’s hard to express exactly what I like it about it but it’s probably because it’s more nostalgic than the previous tracks. I particularly enjoyed the line about life being like a party and how it must come to an end. The song in my opinion is about closing/ending, I could tell that before I found out the story behind the song and I think that as well as being a touching tribute to loss it’s also about embracing something new.
The name of this EP actually comes from a lyric in ‘About Time’
Finally ‘We are not alone’ is a very touching song because it’s trying to relate to something that can all understand, a feeling of aloneness. We may lose ground as they say but we are not alone. I think this is a strong message and it really projects this message of community and support which is important. So often in life we can feel isolated but listen to this and maybe you won’t feel quite as alone anymore.
So yeah each track feeds into the other and although each can be enjoyed separately I suggest that when you first listen to this you listen to it all and take in what each song has to offer and what they can offer together. I can honestly say that I’d be a real shame if you missed out on hearing this album. So get a copy here on Bandcamp and listen today. If you want to keep up to date with Losing Ground then you can check them out on Facebook as well.
First Published on: www.newhellfireclub.co.uk